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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 9:43 am 
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New private-hire vehicle service, Kapten, calls out rivals in new ad campaign

https://www.fleetpoint.org/leasing-2/re ... -campaign/

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Image: Fleet Point

Private-hire vehicle (PHV) service, Kapten, launched today in London taking a witty swipe at rival Uber with a new ad campaign calling the US company out for avoiding local taxes.

Overnight, the out-of-home campaign went live with the wording “Others avoid paying VAT in the UK, that’s not uber cool” appearing at several media sites across the capital, including Leicester Square.

Unlike their rivals, Kapten pay their taxes locally in every market that they operate in, contributing to local communities and economies. Uber however, has come under fire for paying little tax to the UK government and avoiding VAT on top of their service fee due to their Dutch tax location. Uber had an estimated £1bn of ride bookings in the UK in 2018. If 20% VAT was added to its 25% commission, the UK Exchequer would get an additional £50m per year.

The Daimler- and BMW-backed firm, Kapten, first launched in France in 2012, quickly becoming a major player in Paris, one of the most competitive markets in the world. Now the company has expanded into London, with an official TfL licence, following successful launches in Lisbon and Geneva.

Serving zones 1 to 5, the app-based service is launching with a 50%-off offer on rides. After the launch, Kapten’s everyday low pricing will mean fares are on average 20% cheaper than the competition. Kapten trips in the congestion charge zone will be at least £2 cheaper than Uber due to congestion and clean-air fees.

Kapten also offers a fixed-price guarantee on rides, so contrary to other private-hire services, you always know the exact price of the ride before you book a trip. The traffic and the time it takes to reach your destination will not leave riders out of pocket.

Regular riders will also benefit from their unique loyalty programme that will see users earning free rides, rewards from partners and enhanced referral bonuses.

For the past three months, the local Kapten team has been screening and training face to face thousands of private-hire drivers in onboarding centres across London. The programme is being run by a local team of professionals with strong industry knowledge and experience. All Kapten’s driver partners have completed TfL’s rigorous licencing process.

Kapten’s partner drivers benefit from exclusive offerings, including the company covering the congestion charge for the rest of 2019 and additional rewards for plug-in hybrids and electric cars.

Mariusz Zabrocki, London General Manager of Kapten, says: “There has been one dominant, over-confident ride-hailing player in London and it’s time to shake things up. We believe London’s private-hire drivers, commuters and residents deserve better. Each time a Londoner takes an Uber ride, 60p is lost that could finance the NHS, schools and other parts of the UK economy.

Kapten’s mission in London is to provide safe, reliable, hassle-free, affordable travel for everyone and to celebrate launching in London we’re giving customers 50% off all rides for a limited time only.”


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 4:10 pm 
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What's in it for the 'partner drivers' ? How much of the discounted, lower than rivals, fares, do they get to keep ?


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 6:31 pm 
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Which ever way you look at it,it's all a race to the bottom.


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 6:38 pm 
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rayggb wrote:
Which ever way you look at it,it's all a race to the bottom.



always has been and will continue unless new york style reforms adopted in the uk

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:29 pm 
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Kapten: London's new ride-hailing app which claims it is clamping down on emissions

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/transpo ... 35486.html

London's second largest ride-hailing app is championing the capital's "car free day" as it focuses on going green.

Kapten, which was founded in France in 2012 and launched in London in May, is incentivising its drivers to buy hybrid and electric cars.

The app is also preparing drivers and customers for September 22, when the Mayor of London is shutting down central London streets to traffic.

In just four months, Kapten has accrued 16,000 drivers compared to Uber’s 40,000.

As the company grows, London’s CEO Mariusz Zabrocki is clear about the app contributing to the local economy and curbing its carbon footprint.

“The environment is really important to us," Mr Zabrocki told the Standard. "It is one of our key focusses.

“We are already quite green with the majority of our cars as hybrid or electric. We are also supporting drivers in doing this.”

If a driver is switching to a hybrid or electric car, Kapten will instantly pay them a £10.50 bonus every day.

“It is a big investment to buy an electric car because it is expensive. So part of the reason drivers are swapping to us is because of this clean air bonus."

Mr Zabrocki is also working on a new feature where customers can specifically order a green car, which will be launched by the end of the year.

Alongside greener cars, Mr Zabrocki said they are championing Sadiq Khan’s "car free day" despite the disruption it will cause to the business.

“In terms of car free day, it is a really great initiative. We completely support it.

“For the next couple of weeks we are going to send emails, messages and notifications on the app to say to drivers and customers need to be ready for the car free day.

“We are also on board with promoting the fact that you do not need a car when you live in London.

“It is a really important day that reminds us that we can live without a car, use public transport and maybe take a walk instead.”

Mr Zabrocki insisted Kapten's business strategy complements initiatives that encourage a greener London, urging people to stop driving their own cars and share hire services.

“The more people who own cars, the more congestion we have,” he said. “They are taking up more parking spaces and adding to the pollution.

“We want to convince people to switch from owning a car to using public transport and Kapten.”

At least 80 per cent of Kapten journeys take place outside Zone One, Mr Zabrocki said. Often the service is used to ferry customers to distant tube stations or around the outskirts of the city, rather than adding to pollution in the city centre.

“One of the biggest misconceptions about private hire cars is that they are used in the same was as black cabs, which operate the majority of the time in the congestion charge zone and aren’t really affordable to most Londoners.”

When it comes to the ongoing dispute between London cabbies and ride-hailing apps, Mr Zabrocki believes that climate change concerns should not be compromised

He said there should be “a common playing field with other operators” when it comes to tackling London’s emissions but Hackney carriages are still exempt from congestion zone charges.

“For me, we want to completely support the environment, but the same rules should apply to everyone.”


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:33 pm 
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Quote:
In just four months, Kapten has accrued 16,000 drivers compared to Uber’s 40,000


For an app that's effectively claiming to dwarf Uber's growth rate in London I haven't heard much about it (although to be fair haven't been paying too much attention to the London app market).

However, found this, which was also featured on TaxiPoint a few months ago:


Uber rival Kapten is editing drivers’ photos to make them wear suits

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/kapten- ... ver-photos

Before a recent rebrand, drivers for ride-hailing app Kapten were encouraged to wear a uniform. Now the company is just editing their photos to make it look like they’re wearing one

Ride-hailing app Kapten changed its whole image before its launch in London, but vestiges of its former life still appear when you match with a driver.

Until February, the app was known as Chauffeur Privé, and its drivers were encouraged to wear a uniform of a suit with a compulsory red tie, matching the silhouetted figure in the company logo. The French firm – which is backed by BMW and Daimler – rebranded to Kapten as part of expansion plans, with a new logo and advertising that seems to be aimed at a younger audience.

Drivers are no longer asked to wear a tie, but the company is now editing their in-app profile pictures to make it look like they’re dressed in a suit, even if they’re wearing something more casual in the original photograph.

A spokesperson for Kapten says the pictures are “processed by an in-house software” which takes the driver’s face and adds it to a “standardised bust wearing a blue suit,” adjusts the framing and applies standard filters for brightness and background. They stress that the faces themselves are never modified or edited.

The company says the process – which has been going on since before the rebrand – is designed to standardise more than 20,000 different driver photos that it receives each year, each one with different brightness levels, background, framing and view point. “The objective is to standardise a large set of pictures, which are de facto without any common features, and give passengers an easily identifiable picture of their driver,” it says.

The editing is applied to every driver photo that gets uploaded onto the app, and the Kapten spokesperson said that drivers were fully aware of the process. However, users on Uber People, an online forum for ride-hailing drivers, expressed surprise that their pictures had been changed. “Log onto the app to see that kapten have photo edited my profile picture so that I have a black blazer over a white shirt!” wrote one in a thread called ‘Lol kapten’. “I look smart,” said another.

Kapten, which began as an attempt to create a homegrown ride-hailing company in Paris, is aggressively taking on Uber in London, with posters on tubes and trains, and a billboard campaign that hammers its larger rival for its tax dealings. “Others avoid paying VAT in the UK, that’s not uber cool,” reads one advert. It’s one of a number of apps looking to take on Uber by undercutting it on prices for riders, and by offering drivers more commissions and bonuses.

Newcomers include Bolt, an Estonian company that recently relaunched in the capital, and miwhip, which promises every 100th passenger a ride in a gold-wrapped supercar and has been running promotional events across the city (although the launch has been delayed, and the app doesn’t appear to be available for download in the UK at the moment).

Wheely, a London-based firm with Russian roots, aims to tap into the higher end of the market that Kapten has moved away from – the drivers of its fleet of luxury vehicles wear actual suits and ties and get out of the car to open the door for passengers.

In the release notes on the App Store after it rebranded, Kapten promised that its new look would not mean any change in the quality of service. “Before you freak out and create a petition to defend the red tie, let us tell you this: everything changed but nothing actually changed,” it wrote. Perhaps Kapten’s efforts to keep its drivers looking smart reflects a desire to maintain that high-end feel as it rolls out a mass market new look designed to take on Uber and win.

Updated July 2, 2019 14:30BST: This article has been amended to clarify that Wheely's head office is located in the UK. Kapten's uniform for drivers was encouraged, but not mandatory


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:20 pm 
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sasha wrote:
What's in it for the 'partner drivers' ? How much of the discounted, lower than rivals, fares, do they get to keep ?

In the short term I suspect they will do alright, but they really have nothing to lose as most, if not all, of them will be on Uber anyway.

And that Ladies and Gents is why Uber will never make money as there will always be someone else joining the party with money to burn, and always 1000s of cars happy to work with them with nothing to lose.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:33 pm 
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If a driver is switching to a hybrid or electric car, Kapten will instantly pay them a £10.50 bonus every day.

A good deal if the £10.50 was for as long as you had the car, but what if it was only for a year, and what if you only did two or three jobs a day on Kapten and the rest on Uber?

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